Govt fails on ‘equal pay for equal work’ in Kashmir

Govt fails on ‘equal pay for equal work’ in Kashmir
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Private school teachers allege exploitation

Junaid Rather

Srinagar: In a violation of Supreme Court judgment – equal pay for equal work – teachers are being paid meager wages as the government fails to come up with a policy for regulation of salary of teachers in private schools.
In 2016, Supreme Court in State of Punjab vs Jagjit Singh has held that temporary employees would be entitled to draw wages at the minimum of the pay-scale (at the lowest grade, in the regular pay-scale), extended to regular employees, holding the same post.
The difference in salary of teachers is grave in Kashmir with teachers in private schools on an average getting 10 percent of what the government teachers are being paid. These teachers are now seeking equivalence in salary asking government to come up with a policy.
The gap is going to increase with government set to implement 7th pay commission from this month.
“The government teacher on an average gets Rs 30,000 to Rs 45,000 pay as per their qualification and experience while as the teachers in private schools get only Rs 4000 – Rs 13,000 per month with same experience and qualification,” said Omar Latief, a teacher.
In order to get the better education, parents in Kashmir Valley pay lakhs of rupees as admission fee and monthly fee to private schools.
“Even after 7th pay commission, the inflation is expected, why government is not coming up with a salary policy for teachers who are getting exploited by the private institutes,” said Javaid Ahmad, who teaches at one of the schools in south city.
It is high time for the government to come up with a policy that will end the exploitation a private school teacher goes through.
Nearly 43% of school teachers in mainland India are working under privately managed schools. In Kashmir, there are 2,269 private schools out of which 1,175 are primary schools, 810 middle Schools, 247 high schools and 37 higher secondary schools.
“The performance in private institutions is far better than the government as there is accountability in these schools,” said a teacher.
He added the teachers will be exploited until and unless government creates a policy for them.
With more and more parents prefer their kids to study in private schools for quality education; the teachers who work at private schools say the administration pays teachers very less. “We are the backbone of institutions. It is because of our dedication that a school achieves milestone,” says another teacher.
He said the school admiration charge parents a lot of money and we are being paid equal to nothing.
When contacted, chairman private schools association of Kashmir (PSAK), G N War said: “The association will devise a policy soon that will solve their problems once for all.”